New Years Eve galas are always some of the most exciting events of the year. The stars come out to sing some of the favorites from operettas and operas and they are always greeted with cheers from the emotional audiences. In some cases there are some surprises that audiences do not expect and that was the case with Vienna State Opera audiences who attended “Die Fledermaus” last night.
Juan Diego Florez was one of the special guests in the second act of Prince Orlofsky’s famous party in the Strauss’ operetta. The tenor, who is in the middle of rehearsals for Bellini’s “la Sonnambula,” entered the stage with his guitar and serenaded the audience with two pieces. The first was “Auld Lang Syne” and the second was “Guantanamera.” Without an orchestra, the tenor made audiences cheer and sing along to his Spanish tune. He even changed the lyrics to “Guantanamera” to “Happy New Year.” And with his energy and spirit, the tenor single handedly captured the spirit of a joyous New Years Eve gala and earned a standing ovation.
It is not the first time the tenor puts audiences on their feet or makes them sing along. He did that last year at the closing night in Proms where he performed a nine minute Spanish ballad and had audiences cheering. After his three performance run of “La Sonnambula” the tenor continues in Vienna for a run of Gounod’s “Romeo et Juliette” with Aida Garifullina. He then goes on a concert tour until April when he performs Massenet’s “Werther” at the Zurich Opera with Anna Stephany. He is also scheduled to sing at the Metropolitan Opera’s 50th Anniversary Gala and at the Salzburg Festival in Donizetti’s “Lucrezia Borgia.”